Bulgaria to Spend over BGN 10 M on Accommodating Refugees by end-2013
Citing preliminary estimates that the costs of accommodating incoming refugees by end-2013 will amount to over BGN 10 M, Bulgarian Defense Minister Angel Naydenov has suggested that the country will have to seek help, including humanitarian assistance from the International Red Cross.
Naydenov, as cited by the BGNES news agency, made clear Monday that he had ordered a detailed inspection of Defense Ministry properties in the southern part of the country after Friday's sitting of the Security Council at the Prime Minister's Office.
He explained that the inspection would shed light on the condition of the properties and the necessary steps to make them fit to accommodate refugees.
Bulgaria's Defense Minister told journalists that the country had to focus efforts on three measures – strengthening border control, taking steps to accommodate refugees and provide them with support and a normal everyday life, and seeking assistance from international organizations, including humanitarian aid.
He specified that enhancing border control involved holding intensive talks with Turkey and Greece on the refugee flow.
Naydenov pointed out that the forecast for an increase in refugee numbers by 6000-10 000 people by end-2013 made it essential for Bulgaria to seek international assistance and cooperation.
Naydenov, as cited by the Focus news agency, made clear that the most unacceptable scenario for Bulgaria regarding the situation in Syria involved participation in the "coalition of the willing."
He said that Bulgaria's stance, presented during Friday's sitting of the Security Council at the Prime Minister's Office, remained unchanged, adding that the country had not yet been officially requested to take part in operations in Syria.
"Bulgaria aims, first of all, towards a political solution of the problem, which involves continuing diplomatic efforts and maintaining dialogue within international organizations," Naydenov stated, adding that not all options for finding such a solution had been exhausted.
He commented that there were a range of possible scenarios for the development of the situation in Syria, including the ones involving military intervention and a military operation.
Naydenov stressed, however, that military intervention was an extreme measure and was not to be adopted until all other options had been exhausted.
He declared that Bulgaria was to honor its commitments stemming from its UN membership and to comply with the decisions of the organization.
He underscored that Bulgaria lacked the capacity to participate in a military operation or limited air strikes against Syria.
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